Friday, June 03, 2005

Bush Has Little to Say on "Deep Throat" Revelation

Watching President Bush answer questions about the revelation that Nixon-era FBI official W. Mark Felt was "Deep Throat" just screams "irony."

A president in his second term in office, overseeing an increasingly unpopular war that some Americans questioned from the start. Unable to stop out-of-control gas prices at home. Questions about integrity and honesty buzz about, but a weakened Democratic Party seemingly can't change public opinion. Even when the mainstream media raises legitimate questions about wrongdoing in his administration, the charges fail to resonate with the American populace.

Yep, that sums up how things were for Richard Nixon, circa 1973.

But I digress.

***

Bush, during a joint press conference June 1 with South African President Mbeki, didn't know quite what to say about Deep Throat. He started with a grade-school history lesson for President Mbeki:

BUSH: You know, there was an interesting revelation yesterday, Mr. President, about a news story -- a massive news story that took place when I was a pretty young guy. And to those of us who grew up in the late -- got out of college in the late '60s, the Watergate story was a relevant story, and a lot of us have always wondered who Deep Throat might have been. And the mystery was solved yesterday.

But that didn't really answer the question of the President's "thoughts" on Deep Throat, unless one was to assume that Bush hasn't thought about Deep Throat once since he was a "pretty young guy" -- he was 28 when Nixon resigned -- or, say, at various times during his time as president.

So a reporter tried again, asking Bush whether he thought Deep Throat was a "hero," to which Bush essentially said he hadn't yet developed an opinion:

BUSH: He was -- it's hard for me to judge. I'm learning more about the situation. All I can tell you is, is that it's -- it was a revelation that caught me by surprise, and I thought it very interesting. I'm looking forward to reading about it, reading about his relationship with the news media. It's a brand-new story for a lot of us who have been wondering a long time who it was.

***

I honestly can't believe that Bush hasn't worried about a Deep Throat coming out of his own administration. It's clear this administration has no love for journalists, given its reliance, and defense, of propaganda, as well as embarrassing revelations that it paid "consevative journalists," and in the case of J.D. Guckert, supported a fake journalist.

But maybe it's an indictment on our "mainstream media," which too often sits on its hands, lazily repeating conservative spin, more interested in having hissy fits and defending conservative-driven stereotypes of Al Gore or John Kerry than investigating whether Bush has told the truth on a variety of subjects, from Harken Energy to the August 6 memo to Social Security privatization. The same media that ran front-page stories on whether President Clinton was sending coded signals to Monica Lewinsky based on his choice of necktie has generally accepted the administration's contention that a bunch of renegade soldiers were responsible for Abu Ghraib, and that there is no reason to further investigate the way football star Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan was handled by the U.S. Army.

Call him cocky or naive, but maybe President Bush knows that even if a Deep Throat were to emerge from his administration, the conservative noise machine would destroy the source's reputation, just as quickly as it leveled Richard Clarke or Paul O'Neill.

Maybe Bush knows that the bulk of the mainstream media isn't looking for a new Deep Throat.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never let it be said that jabbs cannot find a way to tie any story into an anti-Bush rant.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

This strikes me as an anti-media rant, actually.

2:13 PM  
Blogger DelaBlogger said...

The MSM is indeed doing a fairly lousy job investigating the Bush administration. However, I think the blame falls equally on the American public as well as the MSM and the administration spin doctors. American's have allowed themselves to be controlled by fear; fear the Bush administration has readily expolited.

Until the American public realizes they love their civil rights as much as their false feeling of protection (and Hummmers), they will continue to ignore the damaging revelations regarding the Bush administration.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Americans had no problem with Bill Clinton's Wag the dog War, so why should we care about Bush's alleged short-comings. At least Bush is up front about it. But let's leave the gray-haired sax player alone and just forget he helped slaughter thousands of innocents and also was impeeched.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, blame the uneducated rubes in the red flyover states. We are a bunch of idiots, who should not think, but sit back and let the folks at the NY Times and the Washington Post dictate to us what we should think.

Have you ever entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe, some people support President Bush for reasons other than "fear"?

What civil rights of yours have been violated?

I think that President Clinton was the one that really increased the popularity of the Hummer.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a) are you attempting to equate Bush and Nixon here. I really hope not, without evidence to support

b) you can honestly state that the mainstream media would not like to have a deep throat, someone to guide them down the path to bring down the president. delusional. you think, even based on notoriety alone, that millions of wannabe woodwards are not out there. what a load of crap.

c) entire point is that the so called reason Felt handled things the way he did was to avoid the spin machine THAT HAS EXISTED IN EVERY ADMINISTRATION. So i dont know what in the world you are talking about here. If someone came out and accused the president of this or that, yes the spin masters would come out. If there were a deep throat out there (and we wouldnt know if there were would we now?), it would be to avoid the destructive spin machine.

e) the only question i have seen about deep throat that the president was toiling with...was whether DThroat is a hero or not. Interesting question as you can certainly question his motives even if you believe the outcome was justice served. But arent liberal supposed to be concerned with the process, not just the outcome. Shouldnt all people be so concerned? It is a legitimate question as to whether deep throat did the right thing by handling things the way he did--it likely was illegal. It is a great story though, i will say.
f) before all people here go off on some "there you go conservative junk, let me state i do not like bush or the republican right."
g) i agree with blogger above that everything is an attempt to smear bush-- an old story at this point.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

"Maybe Bush knows that the bulk of the mainstream media isn't looking for a new Deep Throat."

>>

I think that's the heart of the matter.

There are some journalists doing some great work unraveling Bush spin, and some recent books that go head first into topics of concern, such as the U.S.-Saudi relationship, the administration's reaction to 9/11, etc.

But all of it is observatory. It seems like this administration has so shut itself off to journalists -- not including the scripted sit-downs with Fox News anchors -- it would leave the door wide open for some White House, CIA or FBI insider to become a new Deep Throat.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People like above bloggers consider any attempt to question Bush policies as an attempt to smear him. What rubbish.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and an aside, do you parallel the gas price issue to today? are gas prices out of control? i would suggest that they should be higher, or taxed more, to incentivize people not to buy SUVs. Gas prices are not extraordinarily high; they are just high compared to last year. take a trip to london if you want to see high gas prices.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gas prices are about $1 higher per gallon than when Bush took over, and if you remember correctly, he said on the campaign trail in 2000 that if OPEC tried to take advantage of the U.S., he would "jawbone" it on the U.S.' behalf.

Now, unless jawbone means "cuddle up to," I don't think Bush has done much to lower gas prices.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

I don't think David is seriously suggesting Bush should be taken down like Nixon.

I think it's just stating the obvious -- we have a lazy MSM. Even if Deep Throat was available today, I don't know whether he/she would be taken seriously. And even if a journalist at, say, The Washington Post were to find a legit Deep Throat today, the stories would be trashed by Scott McLellan on a daily basis, and then Rush and Sean and the gang at Fox would nitpick every little detail, or just say the "liberal media" was out of control. A Post reporter could have the best tip in the world -- the one biggie that proves something horrible about Bush and say, his Iraq War plan -- and within a week, it would be regurgitated by the conservative pundits as useless. Worse, the rest of the MSM, and as result, the average American, would be led to agree.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I think this topic is absolutely the most damning indictment of what the media has become. The saddest truth is, that even if a journalist did actually get proof of illegal activity by the Executive Branch it would be pushed right off the front page the next day by a "runaway bride" story.

That's damning of us, folks - the media is just serving what sells.

Remember, on September 12th, when we all rubbed our eyes and wondered why in the hell were we so obsessed with Chandra Levy details instead of real issues of national importance? I didn't think so.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

american dissident says it well. the public is much to blame for the "lazy" news these days. But this laziness is often designed to what sells, not some conspiracy against liberals or conservatives.

basically, the people above who list out exactly what would happen if a deep throat showed up today...well, please offer some stock tips. If you can tell me what is going to happen so precisely, i may as well benefit from such insight. puhhhhleaase. if the #2 guy at the FBI was providing info to anyone (even me), it would become a story. such absurdity i can no longer comment on this.

yes the media is lazy; so is the public, liberals and conservatives alike. people arent interested in news anymore--only either hearing their views shouted or plain old human interest entertainment like the runaway bride. sad....but true.

but a story like deep throat would be news anywhere anytime, both political news as well as entertainment. it would definitely show up all over the place today. Ok, i am done arguing about what we dont know.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with the claim that if only anti-Bush Administration news were entertaining it would still be all over the front pages. The coverage of the past few months, including scant coverage on important issues because they make the Bush Administration look bad, flies in the face of that theory and such news would be considered very "entertaining" or better yet enlightening is it were only given a chance to air.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what...are you kidding.

Lets take some serious antibush news. Say he banged a male prostitute wile high on crack and used the koran as a toilet......i think that would be entertaining and news. you think the vast lazy conservative news would ignore it---say everyone has a bad day.

4:17 PM  

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